When I woke up this morning, I jumped out of bed and headed straight for the scale: 133.6 lbs. Now, being the "temporarily retired" personal trainer that I am, I know that this is a healthy and quite normal weight and BMI for my height. However, it's been a while since I checked with the governing powers that be, so I then hopped onto the web to check with the CDC just to be sure.
Sure enough, it says I'm normal, so WHY did I have a dream that the mom of olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber was calling me fat last night? I know what you're thinking; Couldn't be true...must have been the mom of Aly Raisman. After all, she has definitely got to be the most critical of the Team USA Gymnastics moms. And while I'd agree with you there (Can someone please pass that woman a xanax?!), I assure you the dream was just as I said. This is how it went down...
I was at my regular gym, a 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport. I loaded the weight bar with a 45 lb plate on each end of the bar, and took a deep breath ready to squat the 135 lbs. that stood before me. Wouldn't you know it, just as I inhale and go to lift the heavy weight, Jordyn Wieber's mom approaches me from behind. She has obviously been drinking and I can smell the alcohol on her breath. She says, "Whoa! You know what? I had an important event coming up, and I've been waiting months to ask you what I should be eating to prepare and look my best for it, but I couldn't find you. You always looked so great before. But then, I go away to the Olympics for a couple weeks and come back and you have really put on a few lbs!"
I am totally in shock A) that Jordyn Weiber's mom has the audacity to unleash such judgmental comments towards me when she barely even knows me and B) that this woman is totally tipsy at the gym. I mean really! Who drinks before they go to 24 Hr. Fitness??
I just stand there in shock, half about to cry, and she continues with a corrected attitude, noticing that it's hurt my feelings. "It's ok," she says. "I have a good idea of what happened. You were trying to get pregnant. You did get pregnant, but you lost the baby. I worry about the same thing happening to my daughter someday. You have handled everything with grace. Please don't give up trying." And with that, she disappears and leaves me standing there alone, feeling completely violated and validated all at the same time.
-Could it be that I'm watching too much Olympic coverage?
-Could it be that I spent way too much time in a gym as a child, growing up in competitive gymnastics myself and this is somehow a weird flashback of sorts?
-Could it be that I knowingly posted a pic of myself on facebook last night where I know I looked fatter than I have in the past 3 + years and I can only deduce that anyone seeing it must be thinking the same thing?
-Could it be that I've actually had people approach me at the gym (in real life) and ask me "What's wrong?" and look me up and down as if I am a leper?
-Could it be that I even had one guy at the gym tell me my legs were "getting big?"
-Could it be that sometimes I feel like in the matter of one year's time I have basically given up at least 50% of who I was as a person (Wilhelmina fitness model, personal trainer, nutritionist, complete health nut and fitness freak) in order to try to pursue motherhood?
-Could it be that I can sense that other people still aren't used to the new me and are forming judgements in their head when they see me now?
Here is one of my favorites lines I've gotten from someone, "Wow, I haven't seen you in a loooong time." (insert extremely long and uncomfortable seizing me up and down here as if to say YOU'VE GAINED WEIGHT) By the way, just because you're wearing sunglasses, doesn't mean I can't see your head moving up and down like that lady! I'd like to chalk comments like that up to the fact that this person could have just been jealous in the past of my sporty physique and is somehow now gaining satisfaction by seeing that I've packed on a few sizes. It's really sad, but people who lack confidence themselves just love to see you "fail".
And no, I'm not paranoid people. This stuff is really happening, and has been happening for the past year. I realize I did it to myself by choosing a career in the health and wellness industry. Once you do that, people expect you to never falter, to always look perfect, and order the healthy meal at dinner. God forbid you go out for Mexican and an inconveniently placed training client sees your huge ass order come out of the kitchen. Gasp!
I know that the choice I made to scale way back on exercise and gain weight was for the best. It's been hard feeling like I gave up about half of who I am as a person in this process, but I'm working on celebrating the other things about myself that I think make me special...the things that are deep within my character. I know that I'm a good and loyal friend to the nth degree. I know that I have a deep passion for helping others and still continue to do so, just in other ways. I now that more than anything in this world I want to create an amazing family with my wonderful husband. I know that I am destined to be a mom and that's it's one of my main purposes in life.
It's just a matter of time before I can realize my new, more important dream. Until then, I am practicing patience and self-acceptance the best way I know how. The squat rack, the crazy HIIT training, and failsafe fat loss meal plan will still be there ready and waiting when I'm ready to come back to my former self....IF that's what I want.